12 Fun and Free Father's Day Activities That'll Make His Day Special

Spend some quality time with Dad on Father's Day this year. It doesn't matter what the two of you do—the most important thing is to spend time together.

Father's Day is a time to celebrate dad and all he does for us. There's no need to spend a fortune on a flashy gift when what he really wants is to spend time together. To help you plan the perfect day, we've gathered fun ideas for Father's Day activities, like exploring the outdoors or cooking dinner together. We've got ideas for every dad, so whether he'd enjoy a one-on-one activity or just wants to kick back and relax, you can have a meaningful day together. The best part is, most of these ideas are free!

Pick up an inexpensive Father's Day gift to go with these activities (and don't forget the homemade Father's Day card!) and plan to spend the day celebrating dad.

father and son walking along nature trail looking through binoculars
Hero Images / Getty Images.

Enjoy the Outdoors Together

Find a hiking trail, go for a family bike ride, or head to a local park to enjoy the outdoors. As long as you're outside and spending time with Dad, he'll be sure to have a great Father's Day. If dad has outdoor hobbies, plan his gift so he can use it on your outing! Binoculars for birdwatching ($20, Target), hiking equipment, or a cooler backpack are all great gift ideas for someone who spends a lot of time in nature.

Read Your Favorite Book Out Loud

It can be difficult to find time to spend with the whole family—one easy way to get everyone together is to sit down and read a favorite book out loud. Looking for something more upbeat? Have the kids act out the scenes as you read! This is a great way to get younger kids engaged in spending time with dad.

Father's Day Coupons with thread and scissors on white background

Make Father’s Day Coupons

Make dad's day with a DIY coupon book full of fun things to do together: He'll love cashing in for breakfast in bed, an ice cream date night, and a fun family movie night with our fun free printables. Make the book for dad ahead of time and then spend the day doing each activity on the coupons.

father and son peeling potatoes
Hybrid Images / Getty Images.

Cook Dinner with Dad

Looking for Father's Day activities for toddlers? Get the whole family involved in cooking Dad's favorite meal for a special dinner! Assign younger kids easy tasks, such as setting the table or tossing the salad. A meal like homemade pizza is an easy one for kids to help with; prepare the dough ahead of time and let dad and the kids choose the toppings.

Bake Brownies Together

Sure, you could whip up a fancy Father's Day dessert for dad, but it'll be more fun to spend the day in the kitchen with him making one together. Make our delicious fudgy brownie recipe from scratch, or use a pre-made mix (there's no shame in baking from the box!). Either way, you and dad can enjoy a tasty treat together.

Painted ring toss yard game on lawn
Chelsea Foy of Lovely Indeed

Play Backyard Games

Our fun DIY ring toss game doubles as a gift and a fun outdoor activity all in one. It's quick and easy to assemble; you'll need less than 10 materials, and you likely have most of them hiding in the garage). It's so easy to play, kids of all ages can easily play this family-friendly game on a warm summer evening.

Give Dad Alone Time

Whether it's watching baseball, taking a nap, or reading a new book, Dad will love the chance to have a few hours for himself. It's Father's Day, so let Dad pick his activity for the day—and then let him enjoy his alone time! He'll definitely still want some quality time with the kids, but he will totally appreciate a few hours of quiet time built into a fun day of family activities.

marinating ribs with barbecue sauce on grill
Blaine Moats

Grill Outside with Dad

Step aside and let the grill master work: Host a Father's Day barbecue or cookout in your backyard. Invite friends and family to come enjoy a meal of grilled summer recipes—the more the merrier! Delicious food AND the chance for Dad to show off his skills? This will become one of his favorite things to do on Father's Day. If Dad doesn't already have an outdoor grill, splurge on his gift and get a charcoal gill ($80, Walmart) as his Father's Day gift.

father and daughter holding fishing poles walking down dock
Hero Images / Getty Images.

Take a Fishing Trip

Go fish! What better way to spend Father's Day than doing what Dad loves best? A fishing trip can be as simple as throwing a fishing rod ($10, Walmart) in the local pond, but he'll love showing you his tricks of the trade.

Spend One-on-One Time Together

Take Dad out for a date to your (or his!) place of choice. Milkshakes, burgers, a nice dinner—it doesn't matter! The important part is spending one-on-one time on Father's Day. Make it a family affair by including grandpa in your plans. Dad will appreciate the opportunity to spend Father's Day with his children and his own dad all together.

father and daughter looking at animal skeleton
Hill Street Studios / Getty Images.

Plan a Father's Day Outing

Plan a trip to a nearby attraction to celebrate Father's Day. Check out a free museum, visit a farmer's market, or score cheap tickets to a local ball game. Choose something that fits Dad's personality and interests—after all, it is his day!

father playing with kids on the beach
Hero Images / Getty Images.

Take a Trip to the Beach

Stuck on ideas for Father's Day? This one will appeal to all ages: Take advantage of the warm weather and have some fun in the sun at the beach! If you don't live on the coast, look up local parks that have a beach; they are often free to visit. If you don't have a beach nearby, plan a trip to a state park instead. Dad will love the chance to relax and spend time playing family-friendly beach games.

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